USP Alumni Network

Priestly Habru

Name : Priestly Habru

Country : Solomon Islands

Programme : Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Literature and Language in 2002 and Postgraduate Certificate in Gender Studies in 2014

Why did you choose this field of study? I have always been an outgoing person, visiting new places ad meeting new people and that is why i chose Journalism to fine tune my interest in writing and communication.

Briefly reflect on your student life at USP? It was memorable, full of lifetime experiences that has been useful in my career. I was put to the test as a student journalist covering the 2000 coup in Fiji. The best memories are studying in a diverse environment - a true pasifika melting pot.

Greatest experience as a student? Being bale to practice journalism covering the 2000 coup and as a regional director of the Wansolwara [USP Student] newspaper is an achievement i always cherish. Participating as the PM for the Solomon Islands in a weekend long South Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders organized by the USP History and Politics department in 2001 was a plus for me.

Career Highlights since graduation? Starting my own newspaper with 2 colleagues in 2006 and being acknowledged as a former USP journalism graduate going in to entrepreneurship is one of mt career highlights so far.

Who / what do you credit your success to ? Who inspires you? My mom who is only a housewife after the only bread winner (My dad) passed away when I was in my first year of high school motivated me to be successful in my career and studies.

How do you think USP helped you in your career? USP with its excellent facilities, good lecturers, the diversity of students and the beautiful Fiji Islands and her people helped me in my career through the network and friendships that I have established.

Describe any challenges you faced to reach where you are today and how you overcame these challenges? Starting a newspaper business is a challenge my colleagues and I faced when we started the Island Sun in 2006. I managed to overcome those challenges through the support and advise of my former journalism lecturers.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? I just got back to USP in 2014 to complete my Postgraduate Certificate in Gender Studies so I am satisfied with what I am doing now. I see myself as a communicator for development by using my journalism skills to advocate change in people's livelihood especially issues affecting women and children.

What advise would you give to current / future students of USP? Utilise your time at USP by participating in designated activities available on campus.The Student Learning Services (SLS) was not there during my time at USP so there is no reason for students to fail courses. 

Please share your three tips for students as they start their careers after graduation. Listen and learn from your superiors, start small and don't expect things to happen overnight and don't be afraid to take on new challenges.

What has your involvement been with USP since graduation? Getting in touch with journalism students for their Wansolwara stories and assignments in interviewing former journalists

Any other information you would like to share. As one of the male students doing gender studies, I would encourage other males to study this course and it has opened my eyes to the cultural challenges facing Pacific Islands today.

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